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Gillard/Wilson AWU Slush Fund - "...there's a missing link that only we know"

WA's State archives holds an empty file for the Gillard/Wilson AWU Workplace Reform Association Inc slush fund.

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ON 25 October 2012, The Australian reported:

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PUBLIC documents that were essential in the fraudulent operation of a union slush fund that Julia Gillard helped to establish 20 years ago are missing from the official file in Western Australia.

The file, numbered 000 748 and titled "Australian Workers Union -- Workplace Reform Association Inc", is held in archives by the State Records Office in Perth.

The file should contain key documents from 1992 when the association, which Ms Gillard described as a "slush fund" for union officials including her then boyfriend, AWU boss Bruce Wilson, was registered by the WA government.

The association's constitution described it as being dedicated to workplace safety, and omits any mention of it being designed to fund union elections as stated by Ms Gillard. But the government archivist who retrieved the file for The Australian yesterday expressed surprise the file folder no longer held any documents.

He said it was "highly unusual". It was unclear whether documents were removed before or after the file was transferred from the relevant government department. The documents would show what the WA government was told before it agreed to register the association. The SRO has responsibility for managing, preserving and providing access to historical and government records and holds documents going back more than 150 years. It is unlawful to destroy such records without permission.

We now know that is not the only file held in various WA state archives for the AWU WRA - and several senior WA officials knew it at the time.

As early as July 2012 - as The Australian started to make enquiries about the AWU slush fund affair - officials in the WA Government were examining the file.

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Here's the cover for that active file - created 24 June 1992.  Note that it was moved in August 2012 and locked in a safe in November 2012.

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IN March 2013 we started making enquiries about the file - here's some of what went on in the WA Government in response to our ministerial request (which turned up nothing).

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At the time the then Commissioner asked for the Liberal and National Party's objects (ie under the same class - for political purposes - as that which the Gillard/Wilson slush fund was incorporated) in preparing the response:

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Between July 2012 and April 2013 the WA system for file management logs the extensive Open and Close actions for the file.

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In April 2013 Victoria Police (along with their WA colleagues) executed a search warrant on the WA Government department responsible for the second file.  Keep in mind this was after various FOI applications including from The Australian newspaper had turned up no file.

Here's the search warrant dated 3 April 2013 and executed 4 April 2013.

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Note the notation about that file containing "internal correspondence".

 

I am not releasing all the information I have to you today.  What I am showing you is heavily redacted - some of the redaction is by the WA Government itself and some of it by me as I expect some of this material will be in evidence in court proceedings soon.

This note is dated 9 April 2013, 5 days after the police arrived with their search warrant.  It's from the then (April 2013) Commissioner in the relevant department responsible for the real AWU Gillard/Wilson slush fund file.  It was sent as a public official was finalising his/her statement to the police.

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I can confirm to you that the "missing link that only we know about" didn't make it to the police statement.

One last point for now.

On 24 June 2010 GILLARD was sworn in a Prime Minister.

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Six weeks later on Monday 9 August 2010 - out of the blue - the file which had laid dormant was suddenly opened.


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Every touch leaves its trace.



 

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